Skoda has unveiled its new rally car – and suddenly we feel all warm and gooey inside. Better still, the FIA has given it the green light.
The Fabia R 5 is the successor to the Fabia Super 2000, which nailed three titles in the 2014 rally season, so it has big shoes to fill. It has undergone more than 10,000 kilometres of testing and 15 months of ‘intense’ development to ensure it can.
Skoda has equipped the R 5 with a 265bhp-ish 1.6-litre turbo instead of the old 2.0-litre and has four-wheel drive, a five-speed sequential gearbox and McPherson struts. Put the R 5 on scales and it weighs at least 1,230kg, as required by FIA regulations.
ŠKODA board member for development Dr. Frank Welsch said: “We are delighted that the International Automobile Federation FIA has given us the green light. Now we can prove just how good our new rally car is in the race series.
“When working on the third-generation production Fabia, which enjoyed an extremely successful start, we incorporated some of the genes from our rally cars and developed the most emotive Fabia ever. Conversely, the production model now formed the basis for the new Fabia R 5.”
Skoda Motorsport director Michal Hrabánek added: “With the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5, we want to follow on from the success we have enjoyed in recent years with speed and reliability on the rally routes of this world. Following the successful homologation, we can now initiate the next phase of the Fabia R 5 project.”
If there’s one thing we really love about the new Fabia R 5 rally car, it’s the looks. Classic meaty rally aggression in a colour that couldn’t be less fit for purpose. Here’s hoping Skoda makes it into something road legal.
Speaking of fast hatches, Hyundai’s RM15 concept is worthy of your attention.